Christchurch pharmacy to stop customers at the front door in bid to stop spread of coronavirus

One Christchurch pharmacy wil be stopping customers at the front door and checking their health in a bid to stop the spread of coronavirus.

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Essential services will remain open in New Zealand. Source: Seven Sharp

It comes after the Government today announced most New Zealanders would enter self-isolation, with all non-essential businesses closed, from midnight Wednesday.

Unichem Cashel Pharmacy, located in Cashel Mall, will stop customers entering unless they're well from tomorrow, pharmacist Annabel Turley told Seven Sharp.

"We will obviously need to record who they are, what time they enter and then, from there, if they need something, they need to purchase something, they will pay using eftpos or credit, but not with cash. If they require a vaccination, then we will move them into the area for the vaccination," Ms Turley said.

"My highest priority at the moment is my staff."

She said the pharmacy has had many customers panic-buying before the lockdown, but her team has helped ensure customers are limiting the items they buy.

"If we didn't do that, then we would run into trouble with our supply chain," she said.

Ms Turley said they have not had any communication from the Government, except that pharmacies, like grocery stores, would be open at alert level four.

"We haven't been provided with any personal protective equipment. We haven't been given any guidance on how we should run our day-to-day business and that sort of thing, so we've really had to take it on ourselves."

"[We're] probably reasonably lucky. Being from Christchurch, we've been through a lot of disruption, so we kind of are a bit more resilient than other places, I suppose, and my team have been amazing at dealing with that."

She said the pharmacy will be "asking for patience" from customers as they navigate the lockdown.

"We'd really like the Government to remove, during this time, that prescription tax that some pharmacies use as a loss-leader to draw in people to buy fake tan, shampoo, perfume, but as a family business, we can't discount that."